SDU Soft Robotics in Biorobotics section at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) in Odense, Denmark, invites applications for a fully-funded 2-year postdoctoral position in Soft Robotics with a focus on Tactile Perception with a preferred starting date of July 1st, 2024

About the project

Unlike humans that rely primarily on vision, Nature has developed versatile sensing modalities such as auditory and touch to perceive shapes and interact with complex environments. This project draws inspiration from the active touch sensing of Nature’s tactile specialists to develop a sensate soft robot that can infer tactile information through a sequence of exploratory movements. The result of this project equips the skin of soft robots with rich tactile sensing capabilities that can improve their functionality in manipulation, locomotion, and collaborative tasks. This project requires system-level development of hardware and software to integrate actuation, sensing, control, and learning in a unified soft robotic system. The position is part of the project “Seeing without Seeing through Bioinspired Soft Touch” funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark through a Sapere Aude: DFF-Starting Grant.

Research Environment

University of Southern Denmark is a rich environment for research and innovation in robotics and automation. SDU Biorobotics spans a broad range of expertise and research interests, including soft robotics, embodied AI and neurobotics, wearable robotics, and bio-inspired control. 

SDU Soft Robotics, a vibrant research group within SDU Biorobotics, specializes in the creation of cutting-edge bioinspired soft robots. Our focus lies in the seamless integration of compliance into the intelligence of these robots. At the core of our research is the pursuit of systems-level integration, encompassing the design and construction of soft robots. Utilizing groundbreaking soft materials and structures, we strive to develop AI matter, endowing soft robots with embedded sensing capabilities and interactive functionalities. Our approach involves the adoption of innovative control and learning strategies inspired by biology. This empowers our soft machines to communicate effectively with humans, employing aesthetic expressions, and maneuver skillfully through intricate terrains. We provide an immersive and collaborative environment, fostering a highly multicultural and multinational team. Together, we aim to translate the outcomes of our research into impactful applications.

About the Candidate 

We are currently seeking a highly motivated, creative, and ambitious researcher who possesses the following qualifications:

  • Holds a recent PhD in mechanical engineering, mechatronics, robotics, or a closely related field.
  • Demonstrates proficiency in English, both written and spoken, and exhibits the ability to work effectively in both team-oriented and independent settings.
  • Displays a strong interest in interdisciplinary research, with a particular enthusiasm for designing and fabricating physical robots through the utilization of digital fabrication and 3D printing techniques.
  • Exhibits excellent programming skills, with a preference for individuals with experience in finite element simulations and machine learning.
  • Has a track record of publishing high-quality research in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conference proceedings.
  • Expresses a keen interest in contributing to the teaching activities within the SDU Biorobotics community.

If you embody these qualities and are passionate about advancing research in soft robotics tactile perception, we encourage you to apply and join our dynamic team.

Contact Information

Further information about this position is available via email from Professor Ahmad Rafsanjani (

­Conditions of employment 
Employment as a postdoc requires scientific qualifications at PhD level. Employment as a postdoc is temporary and will cease without further notice at the end of the period.

Research will be predominant in the position. Teaching assignments can be agreed individually. Furthermore, other types of assignments may occur to a limited degree. The Faculty determines the distribution of the various assignments. The weighting of the different assignments may vary over time.

The successful applicant will be employed in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Please check links for more information on salary and taxation.

Application procedure

The application must be in English and must include:

  • Motivated application
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae 
  • Certificates/Diplomas (MSc and PhD) 
  • List of publications indicating the publications attached
  • Examples of the most relevant publications. Please attach one pdf-file for each publication
  • Reference letters and other relevant qualifications may also be included.

The application deadline is 20 March 2024 at 23.59 (CET/CEST).

Apply Online

The assessment process
Read about the Assessment and selection process

Shortlisting and tests may be applied in the assessment process. Please note that only a shortlisted applicant will receive an assessment. Qualified candidates may be called for interview. 

The University of Southern Denmark wishes to reflect the surrounding community and therefore encourages everyone, regardless of personal background, to apply for the position.

Further information for international applicants about entering and working in Denmark.

Further information about The Faculty of Engineering


Documents should not contain a CPR number (civil registration number) – in this case, the CPR number must be crossed out.

The application and CV must not exceed 10 MB.

If you experience technical problems, you must contact 


SDU creates value for and with society and shapes the future through high quality, talented people and outstanding environments. The University of Southern Denmark is a world-class university deeply rooted the the Region of Southern Denmark. Since it’s founding, SDU has been driven by an ambition to promote research results that develop society.

The major challenges of the 21st century are complex and multifaceted; sustainable change and solutions require new – often interdisciplinary – research-based knowledge, and the University of Southern Denmark is an indispensable stakeholder in the transition process.

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